The Toshiba Camileo Pro is the successor to Toshiba's Camileo model. It's a lightweight, entry-level digital camcorder with no fewer than eight functions. It captures video, takes stills, works as a webcam, records voice, plays MP3s, stores files, detects motion and displays ebooks. It's available now for a rather impressive £135.
The Camileo Pro is based on a pistol-grip upright design. It's extremely small and lightweight. You'll have to watch how you hold it, as it's tempting to cover the textured flash at the front with your fingers.
The controls are straightforward. A square four-way click-pad with a central record/shutter button controls the flash, voice memo, self-timer and screen display options. A rocker switch beneath toggles between stills and video. Below that is a pleasingly care-free thumb-level zoom rocker. A playback button and all the connections are beneath these. The USB slot and headphone jack are uncovered, which isn't ideal, while the battery doesn't have a lock to stop it dropping straight out.
You switch the Camileo Pro on by flipping out the 64mm (2.5-inch) LCD screen. The screen knows when you're shooting and inverts the image so you can see yourself when you flip the screen over.
Toshiba trumpets the eight functions of the Camileo Pro, although in truth some of them are basically the same. It shoots video in video capture, webcam and motion detector mode. Admittedly, the motion detector is very clever, filming for as long as it detects movement in the camera's field of vision.
On the sound side, voice memos can be recorded and MP3s played. It also stores files and allows you to read ebooks. How you feel about reading off the small screen is a personal preference, but we wouldn't want to do it for long.
The Camileo Pro boasts a fairly lame 64MB internal memory, but also takes SD cards. As always, if you're going to buy a removable flash memory-based camcorder, it's worth investing in some SD cards for increased capacity. The pack also includes a fun, flexible and sturdy mini-tripod.
The Camileo Pro wins points for not having a convoluted acronym for a name, although we're not sure how a budget, standard-definition camcorder justifies being called Pro. The straightforward approach to naming isn't echoed in the somewhat fussy control system.
Our main complaint is that the biggest and most central button isn't the shutter release. Instead, starting and stopping video and capturing stills is carried out by pressing the buttons underneath, which is far less intuitive.